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Redditor Called Out By Coworkers For Refusing To Answer Boss’ Calls To Work On Weekends

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When we hear the term, “team player,” in regards to the workplace, we typically all know what that’s code for.

Despite its positive vibe, it generally means increased expectations to work longer hours, appear at more work-related functions, and generally not maintain work-life boundaries.

When it’s practiced, this tends to be a workplace-wide mindset, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, and going against the grain has consequences.

But Redditor freeefinally decided to work differently than their coworkers because of the message sent during their job interview.

Despite demands from their workplace, the Original Poster (OP) wanted to maintain healthy boundaries.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my boss ‘no’ to working weekends when my coworkers don’t?”

The OP realized their new work’s promises didn’t amount to much.

“I got hired for this salaried job where they really hyped up the work-life balance and reasonable hours in the job interview.”

“Like the way that they never expect people to stay late or work on weekends or holidays.”

“That turned out to be BS (bulls**t).”

“My boss got my personal phone number off my resume from when I applied, and not long after, he was blowing up my phone on nights and weekends, asking me to come work.”

The OP’s boss confronted them at work about the calls.

“I’d always not answer his calls, and then when he’d ask on Monday why I wasn’t answering my phone, I’d pull out my work phone like, ‘Sorry, are you sure you had the right number? I’m not seeing any missed calls.'”

“He’d often say he called my own cell so I’d say that I don’t really use it much, I leave it home a lot, and when I do check it, I’ve usually got like 40 missed calls and my voicemail is always full, so I probably miss stuff unless I’m expecting a call at a certain time.”

“I’d then say that if he needs to reach me, he should try my work phone because I’m very careful to follow up on any call to that within 1 business day.”

Their boss continued to press for availability. 

“He asked me how he could reach me outside of 9 to 5 because he sees I leave my work phone on my desk at night and over the weekend.”

“I said that honestly I’m not glued to any phone on the weekend, so if he needs me to take a call on the weekend, could he make it a meeting request and put it on my calendar, so I know to be available? Or if I know I won’t be available to take a call, I can suggest an alternate time to call?”

“He said that wasn’t really gonna work for him, more often things come up last-minute, and when he calls people on the weekend, it wasn’t planned.”

“He added that he’s not calling for a teleconference meeting, he’s calling asking people to come in.”

“I said that on the weekends, I usually have commitments that were made one to three weeks out and I’m not often able to cancel a previous commitment with under a day notice.”

“So if he needs me in on a weekend, it’d be best if he could schedule that three weeks out, so that I know not to make conflicting plans.”

“He said that wasn’t possible and I said okay, he could try and reach out and I’d answer the phone if I heard it ringing, but I wasn’t always on the phone, so I might not catch it always.”

The OP’s coworkers started to complain about their behavior.

“I’ve gone back to ignoring his calls and my coworkers have gotten kinda frustrated with me, saying that coming in on weekends is part of the job and that I wasn’t pulling my weight.”

“I said that I don’t know what job they signed on for, but in my job interview, I was promised regular hours and took my pay based on regular hours, so I’m working regular hours.”

“My coworkers got frustrated and said that if everyone did what I was doing, nothing would get done.”

“I said maybe nothing should get done, then, if it’s coming at the cost of y’all not being home for dinner with the family.”

“I don’t really think my coworkers see it as an option to say no, so they’re angry at me because I’m doing it, and they’re not comfortable doing it.”

“AITA for not working evenings or weekends?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the workplace shouldn’t have mentioned work-life balance if they didn’t mean it.

“NTA. Wasn’t a stated requirement and your boss hasn’t even formalized a schedule to adhere to.”

“You don’t have to be ‘on-call’ all weekend because something might come up unless it’s specifically enumerated part of your job and comes with some form of compensation.”

“Your coworkers are just upset you had the guts to say no to a bad organization. Weekends and overtime should be utilized as catch up time if needed; if an organization cannot survive without this time then something needs to change in the organization.” – FirmlyThatGuy

“NTA. As you said, you signed on for the salary and hours implied. You owe nothing outside of that.”

“But look for another job. You won’t keep this one for long.” – BlackCat0123

Others agreed and said it was a common behavior in toxic workplaces.

“This is a classic move for big company culture. Some of their fav tactics are…”

“1. ‘We’re a family here! We need to support each other.’ Um, no. I have a real family. You pay me and I do work for you. That’s the basis of our relationship, not blood-related obligations.”

“2. ‘Agatha needs more time off for surgery! Why don’t you coworkers donate some of your personal time to her?’ Why don’t you pay us fairly and give us enough time off to begin with?”

“3. ‘See how Fergus comes in at 8 AM and leaves at 5 PM? Meanwhile, everyone else is coming in early and staying late! Let’s all be mad a Fergus for having healthy boundaries!’ That’s some DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim, Offender) s**t right there.” – cbm984

“Classic situation of a company trying to normalize being unreasonable and taking advantage of their employees.”

“Glad OP was able to stand up to the shitty boss, hopefully, her coworkers realize they’re being taken advantage of but guessing that won’t be any time soon.” – semiquantifiable

“I just quit an abusive job after just shy of a month working there. They kept talking about what an asset I was but would not work with me on reasonable hours (I’m a massage therapist, physical burnout is very common in my field).”

“I can’t be your f**king ‘asset’ if I am constantly overworking my body. So I quit right then and there and it was beautiful.”

“I know not everyone has that luxury and I am very fortunate to be able to that but I just refused to put up with their greedy bulls1**t.”

“Absolutely NTA , OP!!” – BeautifulCucumber

A few cautioned the OP to start making other arrangements.

“NTA. BUT be prepared to be fired soon. Your coworkers and boss are going to be looking for any reason to get you in trouble, and if you are on probation, expect to be let go.”

“I know it sucks, but that’s the way these companies boot lickers work. Good on you standing your ground and shame on the company for lying to you about the job.” – crazytrini

“NTA.”

“But OP’s boss has different expectations and, as such, OP will soon find himself pushed out one way or another.”

“So OP better get his resume out there and start looking for a new job because he will, sadly, need one fairly soon.” – pcnauta

While they had people around them demanding they start working on the weekends to match everyone else’s “work ethic,” the subReddit insisted the OP did not need to.

The OP already didn’t have a positive working experience with being promised conditions that weren’t being lived up to, but the OP also wasn’t required to start conforming to those conditions, either.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.